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Category Archives: Writing Craft

Picture book ideas – Where are they?

PIck up the trail of picture book ideas often found in fairy tales.
This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Picture Book Idea Month

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Picture Book Idea MonthIn search of picture book ideas November is a month swarming with picture book ideas. Why? Well, it’s Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo) and there are hundreds of children’s book writers focused on the single task of coming up with ideas for…

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How picture book writing helps writers – Armchair BEA

Picture book writing helps a writer learn the art of storytelling
This entry is part 8 of 17 in the series Armchair BEA 2013 - 2014

This entry is part 8 of 17 in the series Armchair BEA 2013 – 2014Picture book writing develops good writing skills Picture book writing offers the same valued skill set writers need whether they are writing in the short or long form. Writing a children’s picture book helps writers learn and understand their craft. Because of…

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Blogging secrets for book bloggers – Armchair BEA

Blogging secrets are as rare as a silver bullet for writing bestsellers
This entry is part 4 of 17 in the series Armchair BEA 2013 - 2014

This entry is part 4 of 17 in the series Armchair BEA 2013 – 2014Blogging secrets are about as rare as that magic bullet writers seek to turn a manuscript into a bestseller. As with writing, don’t look for any silver bullet that will come to your aid and guarantee your blog’s rapid rise to…

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Book characters that come to life

Memorable characters in books Boatloads of books on writing offer direction, information, and suggestions. Keep in mind that readers today definitely favor character-driven books so writers would do well to take note of their own favorite literary characters as well as those touted by the critics and the modern media. Creating characters who live on…

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Top ten books with a strong sense of place

Description and setting in a novel Today’s topic is all about creating a sense of place and about books with vivid settings. Most writers think: Location, location, location. The geography of a novel is important. A good writer can turn any location into a strong setting. A good setting in a book is more than…

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Armchair BEA: Tips for writers and book bloggers

This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series Armchair BEA 2012

This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series Armchair BEA 2012Community, organization, and technology help writers and bloggers Writers and bloggers are always looking for tips and ideas to make their lives easier. This week’s series of posts has been inspired by the 2012 ARMCHAIR BEA virtiual convention and is a great example…

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Writing about Halloween – Halloween writing ideas

Writing about Halloween is one way writers capture the season’s spirit. Coming up with those Halloween writing ideas is a whole other proposition. Where do you go for those spooky ideas? Halloween writing topics Halloween stories abound from the traditional pumpkin pies to the latest Smashing Pumpkins music videos. One reason I write Squidoo lenses…

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Open a project journal

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Planning

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series PlanningIs the idea for your novel gaining some weight? Is the skeleton getting some skin? Then maybe it’s time to start a project journal. I first discovered a practical approach to keeping a project journal for a new novel when I stumbled across Sue Grafton’s…

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The scary elevator pitch

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series 31 Days Blog Challenge

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series 31 Days Blog ChallengeThe idea of stepping into an elevator only to find the floor missing is a scary proposition. Not so for writers. It’s the elevator pitch that throws them into cardiac arrest. And so I had my first murmur this morning when I…

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Where have all the well-read writers gone?

Once upon a time reading was the fertile bed for emerging writers. The two were inexorably linked and their natural habitats were public libraries and bookstores. Many came from homes where reading was a priority. Others had teachers or librarians who knew how books could release the imagination. Life is different now. So are the…

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For writers: Just Do It (remembered)

Marketing gurus such as Seth Godin and Bob Poole spend a lot of time reminding us that there is no rule, no trick, no magic bullet more important than Nike’s famous dictum: Just do it. For writers activities like thinking, analyzing, reading, talking, and stalking make up a large part of their process. The problem…

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The Writer’s Toolbox: Critiques, love ’em or hate ’em, they’re valuable

Most critiques are the plague of writers and create a lot of internal and external tension. I don’t know that anyone is completely unbiased whether they’re giving or receiving a critique. What you want is for someone to be able to acknowledge their biases and look past them. For most the word “critique” is loaded…

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Even top writers make mistakes

Lee Goldberg continues his excellent commentary on A Writer’s Life and tackles all too familiar problems many writers face whether they’re at the top of their game or just starting out. Any writer can fall prey to slow beginnings, weak writing, and the conflicting desires of the writer versus the demands of the audience. Apparently Josh…

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Hurricane Ike: When life and research collide

Write what you know. That’s the well-worn dictum writers hear over and over and over. The meaning may vary as you make your way through the craft and business. For many new to writing that results in semi-autobiographical novels and coming of age books. Others take the knowledge they’ve obtained through work and life experience…

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Internet Tools for Writers: Brainstorm a new word

This entry is part 6 of 12 in the series Internet Tools for Writers

This entry is part 6 of 12 in the series Internet Tools for WritersNext time you want to challenge a writer friend, see if they can spell and define the word “susurrus.” That’s today’s offering in the Visual Thesaurus Word of the Day. I signed up for Thinkmap’s daily offering not only for the definitions,…

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